A child has been born for us; a son has been given to us.  The responsibility of complete dominion will rest on his shoulders, and his name will be: The Wonderful One!  The Extraordinary Strategist!  The Mighty God!  The Father of Eternity!  The Prince of Peace!

Great and vast is his dominion.  He will bring immeasurable peace and prosperity.  He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom to establish and uphold it by promoting justice and righteousness from this time forward and forevermore.  The marvellous passion that is the Lord Yahweh, Commander of the Angel Armies, has for his people will ensure that it is finished!         Isaiah 9: 6, 7 TPT

What a year it’s been!  Amanda and I traveled to nations we have not been to before and experienced breakthroughs and victories that left us speechless.  We have learned, we have lived, we have learned to love more. We were challenged and at times, even mystified. There were obstacles to overcome and tests to pass. Aren’t there always? Regardless, there is a steadfast promise we have in Christ…as Isaiah prophesied long ago in chapter 9, verse 7…of the increase of his government and its peace there will be no end (NIV).

In the midst of turmoil and uncertainty we are firmly anchored in the peace that Jesus left us as the ultimate gift.  Remember John 14:27?  “I leave the gift of peace with you – my peace.  Not the paragliding peace given by the world, but my perfect peace.  Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts – but instead be courageous.” 

Right now my world is in turmoil, just like many other people.  Like many others, my husband lost his job three months ago, and for the first time since we were married we are experiencing what so many people face…financial crises and the uncertainty it brings.  A week ago we took a leap of faith, used a large chunk of our savings and moved interstate, driving 3 500 km.  We are exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally and the temptation to give in to despair, to fear and to self pity is ever present.  My family members are dealing with the loss of a son, brother, father and husband, I have friends who are also in mourning or going through the same crises as we are.

Yet, in the midst of all of this we are at peace.  How is that even possible?  Only when you are intimately acquainted with the Prince of Peace.  I believe that many people wait until crises strikes before they seek Jesus as Peace.  We know him as Saviour and as Redeemer.  Many have met him as Healer and Deliverer, but peace they seek in antidepressants and counseling, or in extravagant holidays, weekend breakaways or for some, in the desperate measure of the bottle or a needle.

Don’t misunderstand me…there is a place for medication and talking things through with a professional.  Holidays and time-outs are healthy and necessary and even the odd retail therapy or coffee date with a friend can do wonders for the soul BUT deep, lasting peace, the kind that carries us through trauma, uncertainty, loss and crises is only found in Jesus Christ.

We have this wonderful promise that Jesus will bring immeasurable peace and prosperity…he will cause our soul to prosper in the midst of turmoil! Dear friends, I don’t know your stories.  I don’t know what you have lost, what you fear, who or what you carry as a burden, especially in this season that’s all about family celebrations.  I don’t know how lonely you feel, even though you may be surrounded by hordes of people and I don’t know how close you are to giving up hope.  But this I do know…Abba Father knows and he has prepared a way for us to be at peace…with him, with ourselves and with the world.

As we are getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, may you (re)discover the gift of peace.  The One who came in peace, who is Peace, who left us his peace and who will expand peace in us until all our fear, all our worry, all our pain and all our suffering has been overcome, just like he overcame the world for us.